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Parrhasius


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Greek painter from Ephesus, active in the later 5th century bc. He is said to have been particularly skilful in the use of contour and in depicting character through facial expression, and his mastery of illusionism is recorded in one of Pliny's most famous anecdotes. It concerns a contest Parrhasius had with Zeuxis, who painted some grapes so naturalistically that birds came to peck at them. Victory seeming to be his, he called on Parrhasius to draw back the curtain concealing his picture, but this turned out to be a painted curtain. Zeuxis conceded the contest: he had deceived the birds, but Parrhasius had deceived him.

Subjects: Architecture — Art.


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